Wilko Johnson Tribute – Roger Daltrey

On November 21, 2022 British punk rocker Wilko Johnson passed away. The headline read: “Wilko Johnson, a giant of British music and a hero to so many for both his music and his extraordinary, stoic recovery from near death a decade ago, died on Monday at the age of 75.” In tribute, we re-broadcast our 2014 interview with Roger Daltrey of the Who. Then, we spoke with Roger about his collaboration with Wilko Johnson for their album Going Back Home. At the time of the interview, Wilko was suffering from cancer and not expected to live. Shortly thereafter, we learned that he had made a miraculous recovery. Here’s Viv with the setup to our 2014 show:


This week on Art of the Song we present an unusual story. In 2012, guitarist Wilko Johnson of Dr. Feelgood fame, was diagnosed with a terminal form of cancer and given 10 months to live. He approached his friend Roger Daltrey of The Who and asked his assistance to record one final album. A session was set up and the two collaborated for one week in the studio, emerging with “Going Back Home,” an album which subsequently won “Album of the Year” at the British Classic Rock Awards.


A few months ago, we were all set to interview Wilko Johnson remotely from a studio in London, when we got a call from the publicist saying, “Wilko isn’t feeling well today, and we’ll have to cancel.” Sadly, we went about our business. Half an hour later we received another call saying, Roger Daltrey was in the studio, and would we mind interviewing him instead? Didn’t take long for us to respond with a resounding, YES! The result was an intimate chat with the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer about the project with Wilko Johnson, his charity work with teen cancer patients, and we even got a chance to talk about the early days of The Who.

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